Now, there is no ethical or philosophical opposition that behooves me to avoid said establishment. I know their prices are cheaper because they use sweat shop labor and employ toddlers and do all sorts of shady things like making bedclothes out of asbestos and human waste.
I know corporate giants such as they have made the Mom and Pops and the Family Owned businesses all but extinct.
And I know I should care about that.
But really the reasons I avoid Wal-Mart are simpler and much more self-serving.
In a nutshell, their service sucks.
They never have enough cashiers. They are always sold out of the thing that I need, regardless of what that thing is. It irks me to have to hike five miles to the other side of the store with a fully laden cart when I forget q-tips or cat food.
But most of all....the people who shop there give me the willies.
Nonetheless, I went today, because frankly, I'm desperate.
I ended up with an unequal number of packages. If you have more than one child, you know that this is an invitation to jettison your retirement income paying for family therapy.
I was in Sporting Goods contemplating my choices.
Suddenly, a woman swept past me on a current of cigarette smoke and a cloud of White Diamonds. She was moving quickly and I looked, wondering if there was some kind of emergency afoot. Most of us Moms only move that fast when we are trying to avert certain disaster, right?
I thought maybe a gun rack or a duck blind had fallen on top of a small child.
But no. She was just well and truly pissed off.
"That mo-ron just snaytched a basketbawl raht outta Joonyer's hands!"
"Whut? Wha cayn't he lookit a bawl?"
"That's whut I wannna know. And I wanna know wha that aysshole thanks he can lay his hands on MA chiled."
"He better not hayav. I'll kick his muhfuckin ayss."
"He DID! He tol' Joonyer he coon't do that and just snaytched it away."
"Well wha can't he lookit a bawl? SIR! Why cayn't he lookit a bawl?"
"Sir, he can certainly look at the ball. But he can't bounce it in the store."
"He wun't bouncin' the bawl, was you sun?"
I got the distinct impression that said parents had no idea what, in fact, Joonyer had been doing. I was also quite certain Joonyer had indeed been bouncing the ball.
The child in question managed to look innocent and hangdog all at once.
"No Deddy. I wun't."
"Sir, he was bouncing the ball, quite hard, and I asked him to stop several times."
"Well why cayn't he bounce the ball 'en.?"
"Sir, the store is very crowded today. He could injure someone or break something."
"Well howzee sposed to know if it's a qwalty product if'n he don' tra it oyut?"
The sales associate was momentarily taken aback by the stupidity and pointlessness of this man's argument. I saw him mentally ticking off possibilities available to him at this point.
He opted for sarcasm.
"Sir, all of our balls are rigorously tested and come with a satisfaction gaurantee."
I had to smother a snort and a large black gentleman perusing free weights shook with supressed laughter.
He stopped, considering. He didn't immediately understand that he was being made the butt of a joke, but eventually, realization dawned, and his florid face became an even deeper and somewhat alarming shade of red.
"I guess you thank 'at's purty funny, doncha smartayss?"
"Have a Merry Christmas, Sir."
"Up yours aysshole."
Blown up with indignation, the man strutted away like a banty rooster, muttering loudly about poor customer service.
The sales associate turned to another empoyee and said,
"Dude, I'm going to take my break before I kill someone."
To all the retail employees...hang in there. Just a few more days of madness to endure. Just a few more rednecks to suffer.